Intro: Learn how to become a Medieval Knight. During the Middle Ages, training to become a knight took many years for a highly select group of young men. If a noble’s son was chosen to become a knight, the boy was sent when he was about seven years of age to live with another noble where he trained to be medieval warrior. Young men in training were called pages and later esquires before they were called knights. They were sent to schools where they learned about weapons, body armor and war horses. Esquires were the attendants of medieval knights, youths serving as knights’ helpers and shield bearers during a stage in his own training for knighthood. Esquires would often accompany the knights they served into battle.
Step 1: Learn how to execute combat skills in hand to hand fighting and with a knight’s weapons. The knight’s weapons included a pole-ax designed with a deadly blade to slice through body armor and human flesh. The knight’s mace was made of a metal or wooden handle and a metal head. A blow from this weapon could shatter a man’s skull or knock him off his horse. The knight’s dagger was employed for stabbing the enemy during close combat on the ground. The knight’s sword was a metal weapon with a sharp blade designed to slash an enemy open. And the knight’s lance was a 3.3 meter long wooden weapon with a sharp metal point designed to penetrate or knock an enemy off his horse when knights were fighting on horseback.
Step 2: Practice how to fight in full body armor. Medieval Knights wore different kinds of body armor designed from basic padded clothing, chain mail, and plate metal armor. Although a suit of plate body armor protected a knight from both stabbing and slashing blows, it was less flexible than chain mail. Therefore, many wealthy knights wore a combination of chain mail and plate armor. For extra protection, a knight carried a shield made of hide stretched over a wooden frame with a metal rim.
Step 3: Become a very good horseman and understand the usage of various horse related military equipment. For example, the saddle was designed to protect the knight’s stomach and prevent him from being thrown over the horse’s head. The shaffron protected the front of the horse head and ears. Some shaffrons covered areas around the eyeholes to prevent the horse from seeing straight ahead, which stopped the horse from being startled or scared in the heat of battle. The peytral was chest armor for the horse, which was the most significant part of the horse to protect. The stirrup was where knights placed their feet to stay in the saddle when he was hit by another knight’s lance. The horseshoe was designed to protect the horses’ hooves during a long journey. Esquires had to train with horses for logistic and combat operations during battle.
Step 4: Finally, study the ceremony of dubbing. When the esquire becomes 21 years old, the king or another noble would decide whether the young warrior was worthy of becoming a knight. If selected the young esquire participated in a ceremony called dubbing. An esquire would often spend the night before the ceremony praying to God that he would be a good and loyal knight. The esquire was initiated into to knighthood in a ceremony on the battlefield where an older knight would touch the esquire on the shoulder with his sword and thus beginning the esquire’s life long career as a knight.
Related Sources: Warrior’s by Deborah Murrell; Warriors by James Harpur. Grant, R.G and others; Battle; DK Publications, 2009. Hall, Timothy C., M.A.; The Middle Ages; Alpha Books, 2009. Kohn, Childs George; Dictionary of Wars; Checkmark Books, 2000. Zimmerman, Dwight Jon; The Book of War; Tess Press Publications, 2009. Zimmerman, Dwight Jon; The Book of Weapons; Tess Press Publications, 2009.